Actor Billy Crudup says he turned to meditation immediately after suffering panic attacks on stage

Movie and theater actor Billy Crudup, who appears in two Oscar-nominated films this year, mentioned he started practicing meditation immediately after suffering from panic attacks, 3 of which occurred on stage through performances. “It’s such an uncomfortable...

Actor Billy Crudup says he turned to meditation immediately after suffering panic attacks on stage

Movie and theater actor Billy Crudup, who appears in two Oscar-nominated films this year, mentioned he started practicing meditation immediately after suffering from panic attacks, 3 of which occurred on stage through performances.

“It’s such an uncomfortable practical experience,” Crudup told ABC News’ Dan Harris in the course of an interview for his live-stream/podcast show, “10% Happier.” “And I took the approach that I took with all the things ahead of that … which is ‘I’m just going to muscle by way of this’ and that’s just ‘no bueno’ for really lengthy so I had to get started figuring out some other methods to get some help.”

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A single of the first instances Crudup mentioned he experienced a panic attack was whilst he was possessing a latex mold of his face created for a function. He then mentioned he knowledgeable them through performances for Tom Stoppard’s trilogy of plays known as “The Coast of Utopia” and again even though doing a monologue for the off-Broadway play, “Metal Children.”

“I’ve never had that level of anxiety exactly where I couldn’t cope with it,” he stated.

When he was initially beginning out as an actor, Crudup said he felt “a huge burden to take the craft seriously” and became frustrated with not becoming capable to locate inspiring roles. He even asked Matt Damon for advice.

“And he [Damon] said, ‘Why do not your create one thing,’” Crudup mentioned. “And I said, ‘Dude, I’m going to kill you. The first thing you wrote you got an Oscar for, OK? I do not know how to write. I don’t have any -- Why don’t you just get started welding or one thing.’”

As time went on, Crudup mentioned the pressure to be ambitious and successful kept building. He equated the feelings of anxiousness with a story he told of when he was a young boy and his father took him deep sea fishing off the coast of North Carolina.

“I had always imagined I guess that once you got past the breakers, it was calm out there, and I was deeply disappointed and extremely nauseous when I found that the swells continue throughout the complete ocean and forever and that is sort of how I felt when I arrived at my adult life,” Crudup said. “I had all the trappings of results in adulthood. I had responsibility, I had artistic agency, I had money, I had pals, I was in relationships, and my family members was close to me and supported me, but there was an underlying sense of disease, and that was confusing to me.”

Crudup’s ex, “Weeds” actress Mary-Louise Parker, first introduced him -- and then later their son, William Crudup, now 13 -- to meditation. Crudup also sought help from renowned Buddhist psychiatrist and author Dr. Mark Epstein and legendary Buddhist meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein. It was by means of their influences and others that Crudup says he began practicing mindfulness meditation as a way to “triage” anxiety.

“I grew up hearing a lot about my gut, and ‘go with your gut, your instincts are normally right,’ … I’ve come to think that it’s most likely not as useful as it sounds,” he said. “Having to let go of that concept, and that your gut could possibly truly lead you in a path that’s not beneficial to you at times, has been an interesting exercising.”

Now that his son meditates, Crudup stated they talk about it and from time to time meditate collectively, despite the fact that he mentioned his practice these days is nonetheless in its “infancy.”

“I’m terrible at it,” he stated. “[But] when I can catch myself, I count it as a complete triumph, but it comes from a ton of perform.”

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